View Full Version : Study suggests causal relationship between violent videogames and drop in crime rate.

23-06-2011, 03:24 PM
BBC Article (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13799616), mentioning several other possible explanations.

The paper (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1804959): "Understanding the Effects of Violent Video Games on Violent Crime"

ABSTRACT: Psychological studies invariably find a positive relationship between violent
video game play and aggression. However, these studies cannot account for either aggressive
effects of alternative activities video game playing substitutes for or the possible selection of
relatively violent people into playing violent video games. That is, they lack external validity.
We investigate the relationship between the prevalence of violent video games and violent
crimes. Our results are consistent with two opposing effects. First, they support the behavioral
effects as in the psychological studies. Second, they suggest a larger voluntary incapacitation
effect in which playing either violent or non-violent games decrease crimes. Overall, violent
video games lead to decreases in violent crime.Haven't had time to read this thoroughly yet; though interesting, this may very well be a case of correlation not causation.

23-06-2011, 06:15 PM
Those thugish violent gamers, get some more games for them to play before they kill again.

23-06-2011, 06:32 PM
I totally read that as casual relationship, like they get together every so often for sex and a movie... right

23-06-2011, 06:50 PM
As I'm officially on holiday as of 1 hour ago, I refuse to read beyond the abstract. But I also imagine its pretty impossible for that to have any kind of definitive "answer", and will fall into similar traps the "Games cause violence" papers do.

I have been annoyed at a few other sites and commenters praising this paper, when they clearly haven't read it thoroughly. "It sounds about right, and it supports a belief I already hold" isn't enough I'm afraid.

Vexing Vision
24-06-2011, 08:52 AM
The same study claims also that less lead in the petrol reduces crime, and if I remember correctly it placed that as a higher reason that video games.

Incidentally, I agree that videogames reduce crime rate, but for different reasons. A lot of people have violent impulses (I know I do), but I get to live them out with a chainsaw blade and an enemy's soft and squishy head. Insert inappropriate "and in the game!" joke here. Video Games help me at least to channel natural aggressions in a non-harmful way, and I'm quite certain it's the same for some of you, too.

So I can go on pretending to be a normal, well-balanced individual. Just like Dexter.

Malawi Frontier Guard
24-06-2011, 09:03 AM
"Study suggests causal relationship" basically means "we gathered some data but we can't say anything for sure, let's just get that paper out the door".

Damn academics.